Virtueller Einblick in die Vielfalt der Museumsbestände

The online catalogue

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Over the course of more than a hundred years, hundreds of thousands of objects and archive materials have been incorporated into the collections of the Technisches Museum Wien. Given the limited space available at the Museum, we are unable to show you more than around five per cent at any given time as part of our regularly changing exhibitions. The remaining objects are stored in our depots and archives, to be processed in accordance with scientific principles and in preparation for future assignments.

To offer you access to all our inventories, the Museum is now publishing its collection database, giving you a virtual glimpse of the diversity of the Museum’s inventories as well as the challenges we face in our everyday work at the Museum. 

The level of detail of the information contained in the database does vary as it is the impressive result of work carried out by several generations of Museum staff. The history of inventory compilation at the Technisches Museum Wien began with the initial inventory in 1910, which comprised a handwritten ledger along with registration forms for each individual object as well as indexed records of donors and factual information. Entry registries and handwritten index cards were common practice up until 1968; typewritten index cards were used thereafter. There are also lots of attachments and additional materials on objects included in our collections. The first electronic database came on-stream in the year 2000 and was then continually upgraded; it was finally replaced in 2012 by a new database system known as Adlib.

In the museum, railway and postal archive you will find mainly collections of images and plans that have undergone in-depth research as well as the selected estates and biographical bundles on inventors and engineers that illustrate the diversity of the themes and sources. Other inventories are being posted online all the time. Many of the extensive sources in the archive have not been researched down to each individual item, which is why a complete overview of inventories (‘archive tectonics’) will be available online in 2017.

It has not been possible to verify every single data record prior to publication. So you may notice that some data records are either incomplete or inaccurate. The data records grouped under the heading Feinerschlossene [highly researched] in particular have been verified and their contents complemented in view of publication.

Improving data quality is an ongoing process that will still take many years. So we’re always grateful when you draw our attention to any errors or share your own personal knowledge of objects with us. You can find out more about how to do that here.

In addition to the database you now also have access to the ‘Motorsport in Austria’ web portal and the online catalogues of the ‘Library’ and ‘Österreichische Mediathek’ for research purposes. We hope you will enjoy researching our Museum’s inventory and that you will gain new findings as a result.

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